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Legacy Data...Modernized.

This is still a work in progress, but progress is good.

ModelMe attempts to fill the gap between the awesomeness of modern web applications, and the grunge of dealing with legacy data sources.

Libraries such as ActiveResource attempt to bridge this gap, but unfortunately, many of us are forced to integrate with data sources that don't necessarily conform to any modern standard. If you've ever had to deal with an old custom TCP server, flat files, or some other esoteric data storage mechanism, ModelMe is here to help.

ModelMe's structure is based heavily on ActiveRecord, and a great deal of credit is due to the Rails team for the development of that library. Because of this design, most of the constructs in ModelMe should be familiar to any Rails developer.

Why ModelMe?

An exhaustive explanation of why ModelMe came to exist can be found in this blog post. In a nutshell:

  1. I needed to use both local SQL data and a legacy data store in the same application, and
  2. ActiveRecord was a requirement for the SQL, which meant using something like DataMapper would have meant a lot of thinking during development (is this an AR or DM model?).

For these reasons, ModelMe came to be.


Add to your Gemfile:

gem 'model_me'

And then execute:

$ bundle install


Creating ModelMe classes is almost identical to using ActiveRecord. The only noticable difference is the need to explicitly define the attribute of your model, instead of them being inferred from the data source.

class Employee < ModelMe::Base
  attribute :badge_number, :integer, primary_key: true
  attribute :first_name,   :string
  attribute :last_name,    :string
  attribute :manager,      :boolean, default: false

We now have a model that can be used just like and ActiveRecord model:

employee = 1234, manager: true)
employee.first_name = 'Joe'
employee.last_name = 'Schmoe'

employee = Employee.find(1234)
> #<Employee badge_number: 1234, first_name: "Joe", last_name: "Schmoe", manager: false>

We'll get into the nuts and bolts of how this persistence works later.

ActiveModel Features

Because ModelMe includes all the goodies provided by ActiveModel, you automatically have access to Validations, Callbacks, Dirty state, Observers, etc. For examples of their usage, the following links should be helpful:
Active Model
Make Any Ruby Object Feel Like ActiveRecord
ActiveModel documentation


ModelMe supports associations as well (although currently limited to has_one, has_many, and belongs_to). The syntax for both creating and using these is identical to ActiveRecord.

class Employee < ModelMe::Base
  belongs_to :department

These associations can be to other ModelMe models, or ActiveRecord models (yes, you can have associations from ActiveRecord to ModelMe me as well. Shazam!).

TODO: Finish this shizzle.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request